PROLOGUE: After China, India evolves now very fast into an Orwellian state with mass-surveillance, biometric citizen-control, and by being the No 1 in the world to use the internet kill-switch, thereby still invoking British-colonial laws that never have been scrapped. Human rights violations have become the daily norm in India under President Modi and the colonial move of the Indian regime on Kashmir is unprecedented. India openly admits that they have in the case of Kashmir moved from blackout and shadow banning to only allowing internet connections whitelisted by the governance - means also all VPNs are blocked. In adition they only allow 2G access that makes the attack-use of stingers easy but dosn't really allow for proper internet access. Indian Service Providers like Bharti Airtel play along and even export their internet disruption and mobile phone shut-down skills already abroad, as recently experienced and suffered by millions of Tanzanians. Investors and users alike are advised to stay away from anything Indian, if they want to maintain worldwide and their own internet and mobile phone freedom and security. Indian IT technology is at least as dangerous as Chinese and the EU and USA should classify them likewiese as "high risk". India surely has left the path of being a democracy and the present state government's membership in the Non-Aligned States movement must be seriously questioned.
India Restores Some Internet Access in Kashmir After Long Shutdown
The announcement of restoration applied only to 301 websites, and many Kashmiris said they were still in an information black hole.
NEW DELHI — Months after imposing a sweeping communications blackout in Kashmir, the Indian government on Saturday unblocked some three hundred websites in the disputed Himalayan region, bringing a tentative end to the world’s longest internet shutdown in a democracy.
The announcement comes nearly half a year after India’s government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, revoked Kashmir’s semiautonomous status. Bracing for subsequent unrest, the authorities suspended landline and cellular connections, cut internet services and dispatched tens of thousands of troops to the area.
Since then, the Kashmir Valley, home to as many as eight million people, has endured a punishing information blackout.
Foreign journalists and diplomats were blocked from visiting the predominantly Muslim territory, which is contested between India and Pakistan. The government arrested scores of Kashmiris, including former heads of state, without disclosing charges. Ordinary Kashmiris struggled to procure medicines and contact loved ones.
The lifting of restrictions on Saturday applied only to 301 “whitelisted” websites. Among them were entertainment platforms like Netflix and Amazon and some international news outlets, including The New York Times. Many Indian publications remained blocked, along with all social media. Mobile data access was also restored, though it was limited to 2G connections.
“It is very slow — and a good joke,” said Sajeel Majid, 35, a restaurant owner in Srinagar, the summer capital of Kashmir. “India wants to deceive the world by saying we have restored internet, but we can’t even access email with 2G speed.”
Though some Kashmiris said the partial restoration of internet services could bring some semblance of normalcy to the region, they pointed out that shops remained largely shut and troops were still posted everywhere. Over the last week, around half a dozen Kashmiri militants were killed in gun battles with Indian forces, who have been accused of torturing civilians and using excessive force against protesters.
In a statement, the government of Jammu and Kashmir said continued internet restrictions were necessary to prevent the “propagation of terror activities” and the “circulation of inflammatory material.” Officials said they would approve more websites in the coming days.
India has increasingly come under scrutiny, both domestically and abroad, for cutting off the internet, a tactic more commonly associated with dictatorships than democracies. The country tops the world in the number of internet shutdowns, with 134 last year, according to SFLC.in, a legal advocacy group in New Delhi that tracks such restrictions.
This month, the Supreme Court ruled that internet access was integral to an individual’s right to freedom of speech and expression. Judges said the government’s methods in Kashmir were an “arbitrary exercise of power,” though they stopped short of declaring them illegal.
Hours after the government lifted some restrictions, Kashmiris said web pages — including approved ones — were again blockedfor Republic Day festivities on Sunday, which commemorate the day when India’s Constitution went into effect.
“It is just a game to tell people we have restored internet services, but on the ground it doesn’t work and is of no use,” said Adnan Bhat, 19, a student in Srinagar.